||BACKGROUND: As a non-fossil technology, wind power has an enormous advantage over coal because of its role in climate change mitigation. Therefore, it is important to investigate how substituting wind power for coal-fired electricity will affect emission reductions, changes in radiative forcing and rising temperatures, particularly in the context of emission limits. METHODS: We developed an integrated methodology that includes two parts: an energy-economy-environmental (3E) integrated model and an emission-temperature response model. The former is used to simulate the dynamic relationships between economic output, wind energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; the latter is used to evaluate changes in radiative forcing and warming. RESULTS: Under the present development projection, wind energy cannot serve as a major force in curbing emissions, even under the strictest space-restraining scenario. China's temperature contribution to global warming will be up to 21.76% if warming is limited to 2 degrees. With the wind-for-coal power substitution, the corresponding contribution to global radiative forcing increase and temperature rise will decrease by up to 10% and 6.57%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Substituting wind power for coal-fired electricity has positive effects on emission reductions and warming control. However, wind energy alone is insufficient for climate change mitigation. It forms an important component of the renewable energy portfolio used to combat global warming.